After seeing brain injuries derail the careers of Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Denard Span in recent years Twins fans know all too well that there’s no such thing as, in general manager Terry Ryan’s words, “just a concussion.”
Still, considering how ugly Byron Buxton’s outfield collision at Double-A looked Wednesday night it qualifies as relatively positive news that the consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball avoided any other major injuries.
Buxton collided full-speed with the right fielder while trying to make a diving catch and was unconscious for several minutes before being taken by ambulance to a hospital. He’s been placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list, which means there’s a good chance his season is over after just 31 total games, as he previously missed two-months following a spring training wrist injury.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.